Cold War Muscle

So I just returned from a junket in South Florida where I got to try out a neat new gun that you guys will find out more about in a couple of weeks, but while I was there I noticed a retired Florida Air Guard F-4 gate guard outside of the old Orlando airport (now the executive airport).

It reminded me of this 1980s recruiting poster.

You’ll never convince me there was an aircraft as beautiful as the F-4.

Sure, the F-14 gets lots of love from the Top Gun fans, and the F-15 is an assassin, but the big J79 Phantom was the true muscle car of the Cold War, especially in full-color livery.

U.S. Air Force F-4D Phantom II aircraft assigned to the 119th Fighter Wing “Happy Hooligans”, North Dakota Air National Guard, conduct mid-air refueling from a U.S. Air Force KC-10A Extender aircraft. (A3604) (U.S. Air Force PHOTO by Larry Harrington) (Released), 1/1/1985. 330-CFD-DF-SD-07-26034 Via NARA


  • Total agreement on the F-4 Phantom. My other favorite naval fighters of the old days are the Crusaders and Skyhawks, but the Phantom just looks meaner than these other two. I had the pleasure of meeting some German F-4 jocks in New Mexico, many years ago. They were there for training with the USAF. Super-nice guys. Wish we’d had time for a beer.

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